« PreviousContinue »
For He that is to be thy Judge,
Thy Saviour is become.
A Song of Praise for the Morning.
My God was with me all this night,
And gave me sweet repose:
My God did watch, even whilst I slept,
Or I had never rose.
How many groan'd and wish'd for sleep,
Until they wish'd for day;
Measuring slow hours with their quick pains,
Whilst I securely lay!
Whilst I did sleep, all dangers slept,
No thieves did me affright;
Those evening wolves, those beasts of prey,
Disturbers of the night.
No raging flames nor storms did rend
The house that I was in;
I heard no dreadful cries without,
What terrors have I 'scap'd this night,
Which have on others fell!
My body might have slept its last,
My soul have waked in hell.
Sweet rest hath gain'd that strength to me,
Which labour did devour:
My body was in weakness sown,
But it is raised in power.
Lord, for the mercies of the night,
My humble thanks I pay;
And unto Thee I dedicate
The first-fruits of the day.
Let this day praise Thee, O my God,
And so let all my days:
And, O let mine eternal day
Be thine eternal praise.
These are my God's ambassadors,
By whom His mind I know;
The trumpet sounds, the dead arise,
Thy servants speak; but Thou, Lord, dost An hearing ear bestow :
They smite the rock; but Thou, my God,
They shoot the arrow; but Thy hand
They call; but, Lord, Thou dost compel,
Angels that fly, and worms that creep,
If Thou mak'st worms Thine angels, Lord,
As sons of thunder, first they come,
And I the lightning fear;
But then they bring me to my home,
Lord, Thou art in them of a truth,
When shall I sing on Sion's hill
Thine everlasting praise?
THE PSALMISTS OF ENGLAND.
THE reader is already somewhat acquainted with Sternhold, and Hopkins, and others, who translated the Psalms in the sixteenth century.* To that list should have been added Sir Philip Sidney and his sister, the Countess of Pembroke. As the latter lived through the first twenty years of the seventeenth century, we may, without any gross anachronism, give here a specimen of a version which, in music and energy, has been seldom surpassed. Many copies of the work have long been known to exist in manuscript; but it was not till 1823 that it found its way into print, when a small impression was issued from the Chiswick Press. Sir Philip is said to have gone no further than the 43d Psalm: our quotation is, therefore, from the pen of the countess :
Nigh seated where the river flows
That watereth Babel's thankful plain,
Yet useless, and untouched there
Now while our harps were hanged so,
And more to grieve us thus did say:
*See Christian Classics, vol. i., pp. 126–133.